Favouring a coordinated strategy at the national level, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Monday said that terrorism and naxalism have to be dealt with ‘tough hands’.
Mr. Singh also asked for a “national consensus” on the issue of setting up a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) to ensure a federal structure.
“I believe that the problem of terrorism and naxalism can be curbed with the coordinated efforts of the central and the state governments. For this we have always emphasised the need for a coordinated strategy at the national level. I have always been in favour of dealing with terrorism and naxalism with tough hands,” Mr. Singh said during the Chief Ministers’ conference on internal security here.
He said the issue of the establishment of NCTC requires a national consensus as “it must not adversely affect our federal structure“.
The Centre has scheduled a meeting on May 5 to discuss the proposed NCTC amid growing clamour against it in some states.
Mr. Singh said naxalites were using abduction as a strategic weapon, and trying to gain control in areas with sufficient natural resources.
“Naxalism poses the same threat to the internal security of the country as any other terrorist activity. Today, it is a well known fact that the damage to life and property caused by naxalism is much more compared to terrorism.”
The Chief Minister slammed naxalites for causing loss to public property worth crores and charged their sympathisers with double standards.
“Naxalism is clearly against the democratic system. Naxalites spread their terror through brutal killings and destruction of private and public property.
“Every incident of naxal violence proves that the aim of the Naxal organisations is not the upliftment of the poor, but only to usurp power through violent, undemocratic and unconstitutional means,” he said.
Mr. Singh said that Chhattisgarh was fighting the most fierce battle against Naxalism, as the ultras have in recent years concentrated all their power in the state and tribal folks, forest dwellers, innocent villagers and government servants have lost their lives in the violence.
“In this violence, maximum losses have been suffered by that very section of the society whose interests the naxalites claim to represent to justify their existence.
“The public has understood the real design of the naxalism reflected through its violence and misdeeds and the double standard of its sympathisers,” the CM said.
He said that public utilities worth hundreds of crores like roads, railway property, electricity lines, hospitals, panchayat buildings, schools and public transport have been mercilessly destroyed by naxalites.
Mr. Singh also asked the Centre to either station a battalion (about 1,000 men) of National Security Guard, or to provide a special package to aid the state to set up such a group to fight.
Appreciating the central security agencies for their efforts in containing terrorism, the CM said “Chhattisgarh is determined to deal decisively with the challenges posed by terrorism and naxalism.”
Mr. Singh said that a national strategy is the need of the hour. “I firmly believe that with everyone’s cooperation, we will be successful in totally eradicating terrorism and naxalism, not only from the state of Chhattisgarh but also from the whole of India“.
Citing limited resources of the State Government, he also asked the Centre to bear the expenditure of about Rs 1,400 crore on central security forces deployed in the State to fight naxalites.